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Enter to Win 7 Great Summer Reads!

Enter now through Monday, August 7th at noon ET for your chance to be one of five lucky readers who will win one copy of each featured title in our Sixth Annual Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest.

What Makes a Meaningful Life When One Has Limited Time on This Earth?

Nina Riggs, who passed away in February from metastatic breast cancer, attempts to answer that question in her deeply moving memoir.

A Mother Asks Her Estranged Daughters to Come Home to Help End Her Life

Ronni's illness draws Nell, Meredith and Lizzy together to confront the old jealousies and secret fears that have threatened to tear them apart.

Horowitz Weaves a Classic Whodunit into a Modern-Day Mystery

An editor believes there is another story hidden in the pages of her client's latest novel: one of jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.

SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS is about Two Sisters and a Big Secret

The novel explores the fascinating, funny and sad ways that a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.

Roxane Gay Has Written a Searingly Honest Memoir of Food, Weight and Self-Image

HUNGER is a deeply personal memoir that explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen.

Blog

May 15, 2017
The YA community has been buzzing about “13 Reasons Why,” the Netflix show based on the YA book of the same name by Jay Asher. Since the show's release, it has been given a trigger...
October 24, 2016
Who John Green: New York Times bestselling author of LOOKING FOR ALASKA, AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, PAPER TOWNS, WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON and, of course, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
October 17, 2016
The Alternative Press Expo in San Jose, California, took place on a beautiful day where the golden light was like something out of a Maxfield Parrish painting. On October 8 and 9, 2016, The San Jose...
October 7, 2016
The Basics Title: LONER Author: Teddy Wayne Published: September 13, 2016 Other books: THE LOVE SONG OF JOHNNY VALENTINE, KAPITOL
September 26, 2016
I marked the day on my calendar. I looked over the program. I circled the names that intrigued me the most. I asked my mom for money to buy all the things I wanted. I was denied the excessive budget...

Coffee Break

It's no coincidence that the world's best writers tend to keep diaries. If you faithfully record your life in a journal, you're writing every day --- and if you write every day, you become a better writer. David Sedaris has kept a diary for forty years. This means that if you've kept a diary for a year of your life or less, Sedaris is at least forty times better at writing than you are. Now, for the first time, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world in THEFT BY FINDING: Diaries 1977-2002. This is the first-person account of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Reviews

Men Without Women: Stories written by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen - Fiction/Short Stories

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

When the revered children's book author Mort Lear dies accidentally, he leaves his property and all its contents to his trusted assistant, Tomasina Daulair. Tommy must try to honor Morty's last wishes while grappling with their effects on several people, including Dani Daulair, her estranged brother; Meredith Galarza, the lonely, outraged museum curator to whom Lear once promised his artistic estate; and Nicholas Greene, the beguiling British actor cast to play Mort Lear in a movie. When the actor arrives for the visit he had previously arranged with the man he is to portray, he and Tommy are compelled to look more closely at Morty's past and the consequences of the choices they now face.

Mary is a young woman living in New York City and struggling to cope with a body that has betrayed her. All but paralyzed with pain, she seeks relief from a New Agey treatment called Pneuma Adaptive Kinesthesia, PAKing for short. And, remarkably, it works. But PAKing is prohibitively expensive and Mary is dead broke. So she scours Craigslist for fast-cash jobs and finds herself applying for the “Girlfriend Experiment,” the brainchild of an eccentric actor, Kurt Sky, who is determined to find the perfect relationship --- even if that means paying different women to fulfill distinctive roles. Mary is hired as the “Emotional Girlfriend” and pulled into Kurt’s ego-driven and messy attempt at human connection.

At the heart of this collection are girls and women confronting the danger around them, and the danger hidden inside their turbulent selves. In the title story, a precocious 11-year-old named Jill is in thrall to an older male relative, the mysterious, attractive black sheep of the family. Without telling her parents, Jill climbs into his sky-blue Chevy to be driven to an uncertain, and unforgettable, fate. In “The Drowned Girl,” a university transfer student becomes increasingly obsessed with the drowning/murder of another female student, as her own sense of self begins to deteriorate. And in the final story, “Welcome to Friendly Skies,” a trusting group of bird-watchers is borne to a remote part of the globe, to a harrowing fate.

The Nameless Detective has taken two cases that will test his agency's resources. One involves a woman whose husband died accidentally in a remote cabin in the Sierras. The wife isn’t buying that her husband was alone, and is determined to find out his secret and get closure…in spite of any potential heartbreak. The other case is a missing person…but the person missing was agoraphobic and never left the house. The husband swears that while their relationship was strained due to his wife’s condition, he was still in love with her. He begs Nameless to clear him and find his wife before the cops come for him.

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne - Psychological Suspense

At last, Helena Pelletier has the life she deserves. Then she catches an emergency news announcement and realizes she was a fool to think she could ever leave her worst days behind her. Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her father --- until she learned precisely how savage a person he could be. More than 20 years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marshland he knows better than anyone else in the world.

When the investment bank Weiss & Partners is shuttered in September 2008, CEO Bob D’Amico must fend off allegations of malfeasance, as well as the judgment and resentment of his community. As panic builds, five women in his life must scramble to negotiate power on their own terms and ask themselves what  --- if anything --- is worth saving. In the aftermath of this collapse, D’Amico’s teenage daughter, Madison, begins to probe her father’s heretofore secret world for information. Four other women in Madison’s life --- her mother Isabel, her best friend Amanda, her nanny Lily, and family friend Mina --- begin to question their own shifting roles in their insular, moneyed world.

Undertow by Elizabeth Heathcote - Psychological Thriller

Carmen is happily married to Tom, although she knows she'll always live in the shadow of the mistress who ended his first marriage: Zena, who drowned in the sea late one night. Zena seems ever-more present, and when Carmen unknowingly stumbles on evidence that her husband has not been telling her the whole truth, she can't shake her unease. As she uncovers documents and photographs, a very different tale than the one Tom has led her to believe begins to unfold, and she finds herself increasingly isolated and paranoid. As the twisted events of that night begin to come to light, Carmen must ask herself if it's really a truth worth knowing…even if it destroys her and the lives of the people she loves most.

David Sedaris has kept a diary for 40 years. In them, he has recorded everything that has captured his attention --- overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and with them he has honed his self-deprecation and learned to craft his cunning, surprising sentences. Now, for the first time, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. This is the first-person account of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Michael Tanner accidentally picks up the wrong MacBook in an airport security line. He later discovers that the owner is a US senator and that the laptop contains top secret files. When Senator Susan Robbins realizes she’s come back with the wrong laptop, she calls her young chief of staff, Will Abbott, in a panic. Both know that the senator broke the law by uploading classified documents onto her personal computer. If those documents wind up in the wrong hands, her career in politics will be over. When Will fails to gain Tanner’s cooperation, he is forced to take measures to retrieve the laptop before a bigger security breach is revealed. Suddenly Tanner finds himself a hunted man, terrified for the safety of his family and able to trust no one.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly - Psychological Thriller

In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share. But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. The victim seems grateful. Months later, the woman turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. As her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder if she trusted the wrong person. Fifteen years later, Kit and Laura are living under new names and are completely off the digital grid. As the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.

Lockdown by Laurie R. King - Psychological Suspense

A year ago, Principal Linda McDonald arrived at Guadalupe determined to overturn the school’s reputation for truancy, gang violence and neglect. One of her initiatives is Career Day --- bringing together children, teachers and community presenters in a celebration of the future. But there are some in attendance who reject McDonald’s bright vision. A principal with a secret. A husband with a murky past. A cop with too many questions. A kid under pressure to prove himself. A girl struggling to escape a mother’s history. A young basketball player with an affection for guns. Even the school janitor has a story he dare not reveal. But no one at the gathering anticipates the shocking turn of events that will transform a day of possibilities into an explosive confrontation.

The Accomplished Guest: Stories by Ann Beattie - Fiction/Short Stories

Set along the East Coast from Maine to Key West, Ann Beattie’s new collection explores unconventional friendships, frustrated loves, mortality and aging. One theme of THE ACCOMPLISHED GUEST is people paying visits or receiving visitors, traveling to see old friends, the joys and tolls of hosting company (and of being hosted). The occasion might be a wedding, a birthday, a reunion, an annual Christmas party, or another opportunity to gather and attempt to bond with biological relatives or chosen families. In some stories, as in life, what begins as a benign social event becomes a situation played for high stakes.

Collin James is young, creative and unhappy. A college dropout, he waits tables and spends his free time beautifying the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his medium of choice: chalk. Collin’s art captivates passersby with its vibrant colors and intricate lines --- until the moment he wipes it all away. Nothing in Collin’s life is meant to last. Then he meets Nina. The daughter of a tech mogul who is revolutionizing virtual reality, Nina Lazare is trying to give back as a high school teacher, but her students won’t listen to her. When Collin enters her world, he inspires her to think bigger. Nina wants to return the favor, even if it means losing him.